What is a HIIT Workout?
Well, let’s start with the basic definition. HIIT is an acronym that stands for, “high intensity interval training,” and interval training is when you alternate between short bursts of intense exercise and brief recovery periods.
If you’ve ever worked out at 9Round, you can easily recognize how our program uses interval training through our circuit format. Most HIIT programs incorporate bursts of exercise lasting anywhere from one to five minutes and rest periods lasting from 30 seconds to two minutes. Our workout has nine three-minute rounds of exercise, each followed by 30 seconds of active rest.
HIIT Workout Structure
Unlike many other types of exercise, HIIT requires you to spend less time in the gym. This is because the high intensity level of a HIIT workout makes your body deplete energy stores much faster, so your body can only sustain you for shorter periods of time. But the good news is that your body will burn more calories during and after your workout due to the increased energy consumption. It will have to work harder and faster to turn fuel into energy, so you can complete your workout and then get back to a resting state.
No matter what type of HIIT workout you try, the structure you follow will essentially be the same with alternating intervals of exercise and rest. The differences you’ll experience between different HIIT workouts will come from the types of exercises you perform and the length of the intervals. For example, 9Round uses kickboxing moves and equipment, such as punches and kicks on heavy bags or speed bags, to help you work out. Other fitness programs may use alternate styles of exercise that guide their workouts, or they may simply design their program around common exercise moves, such as push-ups and squats.
Benefits of HIIT
One of the most beneficial parts of a HIIT routine is the ability to combine multiple types of exercise, like cardio and strength training, into one single workout. 9Round actually includes cardio, resistance training, and anaerobic exercise all in one 30-minute circuit, so you get the benefits of a full-body workout. What this essentially means is that you’re able to get a more efficient workout, which helps you save time in the gym.
Fun Fact: The anaerobic portion of your HIIT routine is one of the most beneficial because it creates the opportunity for EPOC, which helps you burn more calories AFTER you’re done working out.
HIIT workouts are known for being excellent sources of cardio training. A well-known study found that shorter interval training provided essentially the same cardiovascular benefits as longer endurance training. In this study, both participating groups saw a 19 percent increase in their peak oxygen uptake, or what is often referred to as someone’s VO2 Max. Scientifically, a person’s fitness level is often measured by their VO2 Max, which means it’s based on the amount of oxygen someone’s heart can pump through his or her body while moving. This is one reason that we use the PULSE heart rate system in our clubs – so you can measure your fitness progress based on your heart rate rather than your overall weight or appearance (see this article for more info).
Hopefully, you have learned a thing or two about HIIT workouts. Our intense, kickboxing workouts are definitely a great option for anyone looking to try a HIIT program, so take advantage of our free introductory workout by clicking the link below!